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Looming refugee crisis in Malawi as thousands flee Mozambique

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 01:12

The U.N. warns of a looming refugee crisis in Malawi, where thousands of Mozambicans, mostly women and children, have fled violent clashes between government forces and the opposition. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Falesi Biyeni is among some 2,000 people from Mozambique who have fled to neighboring Malawi in recent weeks... ... escaping clashes between government soldiers and rebels in the coal mining province of Tete. Refugees have told aid workers soldiers there attacked villages they believed were harboring members of the opposition party and that they had burned down houses. Biyeni says she fled after soldiers killed her brother. (SOUNDBITE) (Chichewa) FALESI BIYENI, REFUGEE SAYING: "They tied both his hands and legs and blindfolded him. And then beat him to death. They then threw him in his house and burnt the house. I could not stand that. I quickly picked my child and a few utensils and started running away." Most of the refugees are women and children, and conditions at the camps are squalid. Refugees worry about the spread of diseases like cholera .... but agencies providing help, like Doctors Without Borders, say they're also seeing cases of malaria. Officials in Malawi say they are trying to support the refugees and their families. But Malawi is already under the strain of a stagnant economy, a long drought and food shortages.

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Looming refugee crisis in Malawi as thousands flee Mozambique

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 01:12